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Covid-19: facts and prevention on the alarming disease

Generali Global Health and our global partners are committed to assisting members while we continue to learn about the impact and the global reach of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Covid-19: facts and prevention on the alarming disease

 

HEALTH UPDATE

On 11th March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a pandemic.  

Declaring a pandemic does not mean the characteristics of the disease has changed but rather speaks to its geographical reach. According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.

It is important to note that the virus can still be contained if the chain of transmission is broken but containment requires everyone’s effort.

 

AS A GENERALI MEMBER WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, our policy will be routinely reviewed, however our current position is to treat COVID-19 as we would any other comparable disease; i.e., seasonal flu, subject to:

  • Individuals following the directions of the local health authority and make appropriate use of healthcare services and facilities that have been made available; i.e., government sponsored services and facilities
  • The Hospital Cash Benefit, if applicable to a policy with an exclusion, is suspended in relation to COVID-19. If the policy DOES NOT have an exclusion for epidemics or pandemics the Hospital Cash Benefit will be available for use based on terms and conditions of the policy
  • Costs associated with self-isolation or pre-cautionary quarantine will not be covered
  • Medical costs incurred where you have travelled to a country or specific area which your Government or Embassy (in your country of residence) have advised against traveling to under any circumstances will not be covered unless deemed essential by either country

Our Service Centre is open 24/7 and our Care Coordination team is available to answer any questions you may have.
 

PROTECTION1

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection. The most effective way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

We encourage you to take the following actions to help prevent the spread of the infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently - Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain social distancing - Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene - Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early - Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
     

Accurate Information2

It is important to armed with up-to-date and accurate information. 

  • The virus can affect all ages. It appears that older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. 
  • Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
  • There is no specific medication for COVID-19
  • There is no evidence that pets at home spread the virus

1 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

2 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

 

General Information

What is COVID-19?

The Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to a more severe respiratory syndrome. COVID-19 is an abbreviation of the current Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

No, currently there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

Will this year’s influenza (flu) vaccine protect me from COVID-19?

No, the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.

How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most recent estimates indicate that the incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days, and most commonly around five days.

What treatment is available for COVID-19?

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Your healthcare provider will recommend steps to take to relieve symptoms. The sooner a healthcare provider is contacted the better your chances of recovery. Your healthcare provider may advise you to self-isolate until recovery or for 14 days. In future, only treatment approved by the World Health Organisation will be covered by your health insurance policy. 

After 14 days of self-isolation, do I need to repeat the COVID-19 test? Will my health insurance policy cover the cost associated with repeat test and visit to my general practitioner?

Your healthcare provider will advise you of the appropriate next steps in your treatment plan. At this time, benefits for consultations and testing would apply as indicated in your policy document.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself from COVID-19?

It is not recommended that healthy people who have not travelled to a COVID-19 affected area wear masks. You should only wear a mask if your healthcare professional recommends it.

How can the spread of the infection be prevented?

The spread of COVID-19 can be prevented by:
• Washing hands with soap and water
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Can I travel even if I have no symptoms?

Globally, all non-essential travels are discouraged to prevent the spread of the virus as well as the potential infection. You can refer to the travel advice offered by the government of your country of residence, as well as the destination country.

Can I use Telemedicine for a Covid-19 assessment?

Many jurisdictions are mandating contact with healthcare providers be via telemedicine vs. an in office visit. Telemedicine will be covered in place of an office visit where appropriate and is limited it to acute or COVID-19 related treatment unless otherwise noted.

How will COVID-19 come to an end?

There are two ways that COVID-19 will come to an end (i) by stopping the spread of disease or (ii) identifying a vaccine.
 

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HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY

Does my health insurance policy have a medical exclusion for epidemics or pandemics?

Certain policies do have an exclusion for epidemics and pandemics.


How or when will Generali deem COVID-19 to be an epidemic or pandemic? 

Generali will follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). As of March 11, 2020 COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.
 

Will Generali cover my costs related to a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, if there is an epidemic or pandemic exclusion in my policy? 

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, our policy will be routinely reviewed, however our current position is not to enforce the exclusion related to epidemics and pandemics. We will treat COVID-19 as we would any other comparable disease; i.e., seasonal flu, subject to:

  • Individuals following the directions of the local health authority and make appropriate use of healthcare services and facilities that have been made available; i.e., government sponsored services and facilities
  • If your health insurance policy does not have an exclusion for epidemics or pandemics you will have access to the Hospital Cash Benefit as described in the policy.
  • Costs associated with self-isolation or pre-cautionary quarantine will not be covered
  • Medical costs incurred where you have travelled to a country or specific area which your Government or Embassy (in your country of residence) have advised against traveling to under any circumstances will not be covered unless deemed essential by either country
     

Is testing for the COVID-19 considered to be a part of the wellness benefit?

COVID-19 testing is not part of the wellness benefit, however if the member presents with flu like symptoms the benefits for consultations and testing would apply as indicated in the policy document.
 

Does my health insurance policy cover the cost of onsite influenza (flu) vaccinations for group employees?

Coverage for the flu shot would be based on the policy specifications for vaccinations. The cost of onsite visit would be the responsibility of the employer.
 

Do I have coverage for pharmaceutical drugs as prescribed by my doctor to combat COVID-19?

Currently there is no known treatment for COVID-19. In future, only treatment approved by the World Health Organization will be recognized and covered by your health insurance policy.
 

Are the costs of surgical masks and pharmacy supplies covered by my health insurance policy?

Consumables medical supplies such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer are not covered by the health insurance policy unless prescribed during an inpatient stay.
 

Will my health insurance policy cover expenses for an evacuation due to COVID-19?

An evacuation would not be covered if the sole purpose of the evacuation is to be extracted from a COVID-19 impacted country. If you have a medical episode which necessitates an eligible evacuation from your current location to the closest appropriate medical facility – our Air Ambulance partners have taken full precautions to ensure a safe transfer. Please note entry into and exit out of a country is dependent on local rules and this can influence transfer decisions.
 

Will I be penalized for going to an out of network or different network tier Healthcare Provider?

Network restrictions, if applicable, will continue to apply as per the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy. We will waive this restriction IF your local health authority has mandated the public to use a specific Healthcare Provider, which is not in the Generali Global Mobile Network.
 

Additional information can be found on the WHO website at: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

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Coronavirus FAQ update 46 kb  

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